Portrait story

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by KevinR, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    Hey All,
    Thought this might be interesting to the portrait people here. My wife has a cousin who has a 2 yr old daughter. During the summer, I told her that if she wants some shots done to give me a call. She told me that she already has a photographer. I said no problem. I get a call Tues, and she saw some of my work at a sister in laws house. She tells me she wants me to do some shots and to give her a price. So I start checking around our area to see what is being charged, then I talk to my wife about it. Her thinking is that since I'm still building up my portfolio and her daughter is cute, I should just charge for what ever prints she wants. That was my thinking originally since it is family. So I call her and say $6 for 8X10, $4 for 5X7 etc. She says thats not right. I said don't worry about it, just don't go telling friends that is my price. She asks what I think she spent on portraits for her daughter's 18 mon pics. I guessed $400, she says $850. So now I'm rethinking my sitting fee and print prices. This photographer, although he advertises himself as Master of Photography, is good, not great, nothing groundbreaking. FYI Most of the photographers are charging $400 to $600 for sessions and print credits. These numbers are blowing me away. I was thinking I would be happy to be making $250 a session including prints.

    Any thoughts on prices?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Wow...those are some high prices...but if they can get that...more power to them.

    I'm in the same boat. I've got 4 baby shoots lined up and I have not come to a decision about what to charge. I want to set a decent price...and then I can decide my 'friends & family' discount from there.

    Also, people these days want the digital files to e-mail or whatever....so I was thinking of setting a price for prints and a price for the files, so they can print themselves. Plus the sitting fee, of course.
     
  3. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    Wow, that seems really high to me. I don't have a session fee, just package prices and I priced them to include my time. Typically a one hour session with about 40 proofs displayed online and 10 units of photos ( a unit being 1-8X2 OR 2 5X7 OR 3 4X6). I also allow them to mix and match their 4X6 & 5X7 prints, they don't have to be the same pose. I charge $250. I am not currently taking clients because we are relocating, but I probably would have upped that about $50 this year. My wedding prices used to be pretty low and when I increased them I got a lot more calls. Pricing is tricky. I'd say just think about who your target market is, I was looking for young families like myself. I have a full time job that pays the bills, I just enjoy photography and I like being affordable to people while still making enough to sustain the business.
     
  4. Holly

    Holly TPF Noob!

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    I have no advice about prices, but that price 850 is very high.. WOW! I know some people charge this weddings, but it also includes a photo package plus the proofs and an album for the proofs.... Their time and all for them taking the pictures.... But just for regular posing photography its steep! wow..
     
  5. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I think alot of people are kinda clueless on what can be achieved with digital imaging. She asked me if there is anyway to see the images at her house. I said yes, I'll bring my laptop and you can see the images before processing. Then she asked if there is anyway to get B&W and Sepia and maybe some retouching, I said no problem. Her reaction was, wow, you do everything my photographer does. I kinda had to laugh. Now I'm wondering how awsome this guys salesmanship is. He could probably sell used cars out the backdoor too.:D

    I have looked at some really good portrait photographers (i.e better than me right now) that are charging minimum $500 a package and they are booked up.
     
  6. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm just wondering what she got for the $850. IF she got two hours of studio time with an accomplished pro and his/her equipment AND at least one large print (and who knows... maybe framed), it may not be completely out of line.

    Pete
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I was just thinking the same thing, Pete. If it was in-studio, then I can justify a higher price. On the other hand...if the photographer brought out a bunch of studio equipment to the client's house or location of choosing...that could also be a justification of a higher price.

    I'm trying to get myself set up with a portable kit so that I can go to people's houses...and I would charge more for that, than I would if the came to my house (studio/room in my basement)...Just because it's easier for me.

    It's quite possible that these 'expensive' photographers started out with much lower prices and raised them as time went by. It only makes sense that if the got less bookings, then they would lower their price...but if they still get enough bookings...there is no reason to lower the prices.
     
  8. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    He has a studio. She said she hasn't spent more than 1/2 hour during the session. I know this because I said I would shoot around 2 hrs and she couldn't comprehend that much time. Like I said, he's good, but not great. He's very well established though. I think the biggest she has got was 11x14. Most where the standard 8x10, 5x7, wallet packages. Well, we'll see next week. That's when I'm shooting this.
     
  9. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Go get 'em! I can't wait to hear how it goes.

    Pete
     
  10. jemmy

    jemmy TPF Noob!

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    My girlfriend spent Aus $4000.00 two years ago for family portraits. They are gorgeous but nothing that a lot of us couldnt do.. basic white background, shot in b&w all wearing denim/white. She got 1 big 20x20" framed collage plus 3 smaller 10x19" framed collages of sizes, 5x7, 6x8 and 8x10 at the largest. All were framed but still.... 4 grand????????

    She has since had baby #3 and asked me to shoot something similar to be displayed with the others. They came up beautifully and she ordered up big since my prices are M U C H M U C H lower.

    She commented that many guests had asked where she had the 1st portraits done and she told them along with the price tag... no-one asked for any more details and she has given no referrals. She picks mine up on tuesday and we are choosing frames to compliment the others. Already she has referred people to me which is a pleasant start to my little business. Cant wait till theyre up on the wall!!
     
  11. cal_gundert05

    cal_gundert05 TPF Noob!

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    Sorry, but this just made me laugh. I didn't even read the next sentence.:blushing:
     

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